There would be few businessmen more recognisable than one Colonel Harland Sanders. The huge popularity of fried chicken has meant that KFC remains one of the top fast food outlets worldwide with an estimated 20,400 stores, and fried chicken is increasing in popularity as other cultures put their own twist on the southern American classic.
With recipes dating back to 4th century Rome, fried chicken is a blank canvas. The versatility of the dish means that it can be offered at almost any restaurant – lemongrass, ginger and garlic flavours can impart a Thai feel, while marinating the bird in peri peri sauce imparts a distinctly Portuguese character. Korean fried chicken also appears more frequently on menus – this chicken is dipped in a batter which creates a thin crust, which cracks upon being bitten into. Fired chicken burgers and sandwiches are part of this trend, although are rarely meant to be eaten in the traditional format.
According to Technomic’s Menu Monitor, fried chicken is frequently listed as a top chicken dish on menus, with just under half of consumers saying that fried chicken is their preferred style of chicken. This is somewhat at odds with the trends of healthy living and clean eating, but the continued dominance of fried chicken shows that there will always be a place for indulgence and comfort food.